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Binary Fission

Teacher/Instructor Patrick Roisen
Patrick Roisen

M.Ed., Stanford University
Winner of multiple teaching awards

Patrick has been teaching AP Biology for 14 years and is the winner of multiple teaching awards.

Binary fissionis a form of cell division used in the asexual reproduction of prokaryotes. It is much simpler than mitosis, consisting of DNA replication and cytokinesis.

Binary fission is the process prokaryotic cell division basically how bacteria make more bacteria. Now it's a pretty simple process and that unlike mitosis or meosis there's no nuclears or other things that need to be dealt with and you've only got one single circular molecule of DNA so you don't have to keep track of which chromosomes have gone to which side of the cell. So you begin by simply copying that one circular molecule of DNA, you hook it up to the membrane and then you elongate the membrane in between the attachment points and pinch it off and you're done. So to show you what that would look like, let's take a look over here and here we see a basic bacteria. It's got its single circular molecule of DNA, we undergo DNA replication wind up with two circula molecules of DNA we hook them up to attachment points on the membrane then you start adding more and more membrane in between the two areas of attachment and then you slowly pinch off between and you're done. One cell, two cell, one molecule of DNA, one molecule of DNA each it's good to go.